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HomeNewsAthletes on their marks for summer return of Special Olympics

Athletes on their marks for summer return of Special Olympics

SPECIAL Olympics GB is set to return to full-scale competition this summer with the biggest celebration of intellectual disability sport in Great Britain.

More than 1,500 athletes will be lining up in the new Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport.

Running between June and September, it will be the first competitive event many of the athletes will have competed in since February 2020, due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Richardson, chair of Special Olympics GB, said: “It will be a celebration like no other! We know how much our athletes have missed taking part in sport, competing and meeting their friends, so to be able to offer this new competition format to the widest possible number of athletes is a huge positive step forward.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of us but in particular our athletes. When the National Summer Games, which were due to be held in Liverpool were cancelled, we made a commitment to our athletes and volunteers that we would look to offer an alternative and here it is, and I cannot wait to see our athletes back competing on the field of play – exactly where they should be!”

Event dates and venues will be released shortly.

FOUNDED in 1968 to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics now reaches more than five million athletes in over 190 countries.  

Unlike the Olympics and Paralympics, which focuses on elite sport with events every four years, Special Olympics aims to offer opportunities for athletes of ALL abilities to take part in a range of sport every day of the week, every week of the year.

  • An intellectual disability (ID) is ‘a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with a reduced ability to cope independently which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development’
  • There are an estimated 1.5 million people with an intellectual disability in Great Britain and that number is predicted to rise to 1.7m by the end of 2021.
  • 200 babies are born each week with an intellectual disability in the UK.
  • Eight out of ten children with an intellectual disability are bullied and ALL are socially excluded, claims the Mencap chariy.
  • People with learning disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to have health problems than any other people.
  • People with Down Syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from Covid-19.
  • 94% of people with an intellectual disability are not in paid employment.



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